the masks we wear

March 4, 2016

I should be packing or finishing a slide deck for my conference presentation or brushing my teeth. Instead I’m sitting here thinking about the masks that we wear for each other.

I’ve worn (and still wear) my own to hide sadness and fear and anxiousness and even joy. We don’t let people see us.

We begin and end romantic relationships. We go on job interviews and network with strangers. We work next to the same people every day. And we don’t let them see us.

It’s easier for us when folks reject our costume instead of rejecting the real person hiding inside of it.

Yes, there are times when we need to temper our emotions – I mean we can’t all go running around with our hands in the air yelling, “F*CK THIS SHIT! ALL OF IT!” And we certainly have the right to keep to ourselves and live a private sort of life. However.

We can’t possibly help people or change the world if we’re constantly trying to mirror a one-size-fits-all persona.

I love this quote by Armistead Maupin, “The world changes in direct proportion to the number of people willing to be honest about their lives.” There is so much truth packed into that line.

I know some of you are knee deep in job searches and you’re caught in the catch-22 of trying to be yourselves while trying to be what others want you to be.

Instead of “How’s the weather?” and “What do you do?” Let’s shift the dialogue to “Where have you been?” and “How will you change the world?” Because that’s who other people want you to be – and I think it’s what you want, too.


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